Ecuador vs Senegal: Kalidou Koulibaly scored an important goal for Senegal against Ecuador to help the team progress to the Round of 16.
Senegal opened the scoring with a first-half penalty from Ismailia Sarr, who had no problem sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Within three minutes, Gana Gueye missed a wonderful opportunity by shooting wide from a good position, but he wasn’t the only one. Few other Senegal players missed a lot of chances.
Iliman Ndiaye of Sheffield United started on the right wing for Senegal and harassed Pervis Estupinan of Brighton for the first 20 minutes. Ndiaye missed with a curling shot from one side, Sarr missed with a shooting from the other, and Salaby missed with a header.
After dominating the first two games and getting four points from them in the tournament with their high-intensity style, Ecuador provided virtually little in the remaining games as though immobilized by the realization that one point was sufficient.
The relentless Ecuadorian team, who needed just a point to qualify for the knockout stage, scored the equalizer, with the goal coming from Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo in the 67th minute.
The Senegal side continues playing at the highest tempo, with the winning goal coming from Chelsea defender Koulibaly in the 70th minute.
In addition, Eduardo Mendy was not really tested as the Senegal defense had all the Ecuador attackers in their pocket.
Senegal played exceptionally well even without the presence of Sadio Mane, and this is the country’s first Round of 16 qualification in the World Cup in 20 years.
The last time they qualified for the knockout stage in 2002, Senegal went on to play in the quarterfinals.
Key Stats In Ecuador vs Senegal
In three of their four World Cup appearances, Ecuador failed to advance past the group stage, and this was their first loss in the competition in five games.
Moises Caicedo became the youngest player to score for Ecuador in the World Cup, breaking Enner Valencia goal scoring streak for Ecuador.
For the first time ever, Senegal has won two straight World Cup games. They finished the World Cup group stage with six points for the first time ever in this competition.
Senegal is the third African side, behind Nigeria in (1994, 1998, and 2014) and Ghana, to get to the World Cup knockout round in at least two different tournaments (2006 and 2010).
Senegal broke a 21-game losing streak by defeating a South American team at the World Cup for the first time since Cameroon defeated Colombia in 1990.
What Next For Senegal
The Senegal national team will wait for the outcome of the matches in Group B before knowing who to face in the Round of 16.
However, if England defeats Wales, we are likely to have England against Senegal. Netherlands is likely to face the second-placed team in Group B for the Round of 16.